Messy Grace: How a Pastor With Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Convictions
***A 2016 Christian Book Award finalist
Sometimes, grace gets messy... Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBTQ parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.
But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor.
Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church. As a pastor and as a person with beloved family members living a gay lifestyle, Caleb had to face this issue with courage and grace.
Messy Grace shows us that Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t have an exception clause for a gay “neighbor”—or for that matter, any other “neighbor” we might find it hard to relate to. Jesus was able to love these people and yet still hold on to his beliefs. So can you. Even when it’s messy.
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“Some authors have inspirational stories to tell while others have insightful points to make, what makes Caleb’s writing so powerful is that God has given him both.”
—Kyle Idleman, author of Not a Fan and senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY
"Messy Grace was a deeply encouraging, inspiring, and convicting read. It not only offers practical advice but fosters a sense of compassion and empathy that the church has often lacked toward the LGBTQ community."
—Jackie Hill-Perry, author of Gay Girl, Good God
"Through the eyes of someone who has seen the dark side of modern day Pharisees in the church, Caleb shares a perspective on the way words and actions alienate the very people who need to hear the Gospel message of love, grace, repentance, and forgiveness."
—Dr. John Derry, former president of Hope International University
“Messy Grace shows how grace can enter into the mess of life and draw people to God’s love and goodness of God.”
—Darrell L. Bock, executive director for cultural engagement and senior research professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary
“I appreciate how Caleb has personally walked in the midst of this issue. He does a good job balancing compassion with LGBTQ Individuals and the church’s response.”
—Chap Clark, Lead Pastor, St Andrews Presbyterian Church (Newport Beach, CA) & former professor of Youth, Family & Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary
“I loved Messy Grace! These pages are filled with humility, compassion, and powerful insights as Caleb’s story profoundly demonstrates that grace is both messy and beautiful.”
—Mike Foster, People of the Second Chance
“This is an important conversation for the church today and no one’s story makes them better suited for it than Caleb Kaltenbach. In a world that tries to force everyone to take sides, Caleb speaks from the inside of both worlds. Gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian, everyone can learn from and be impacted by Messy Grace.”
—Lane Jones, director of strategic partnerships, multisite ministry & global missions at North Point Ministries, and co-author of Communicating for a Change